Our fifth son is engaged! He bestowed upon me the privilege of coming along on his diamond hunt. Having gathered a few particulars from the girl of his dreams before hand and educating himself about the process online, he had in his mind what he was looking for.
The color, brilliance, size, shape, and visibility of flaws all played a part in what he would finally purchase. It thrilled my heart to see how seriously he took part of the marriage process. He scoped and studied close to 20 diamonds at several different stores. When his mind was made up the elation exuded from him and he could hardly wait for the day he would propose.
The elements involved in a diamond search unfortunately are similar to the elements humans use to judge others...color, brilliance, size, shape and visibility of flaws. (Now I am feeling sad for the diamonds he didn't choose.) Oh, that we might be like the Lord and look at a person's heart instead of their outward appearance.
But the Lord said to Samuel, "Do not consider his appearance or his height for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart." 1 Samuel 16:7
One of my spiritual mentors sent me a quote the other day that is worth passing along for each of you to realize.....it can be your happy thought for the weekend.
While I started yesterday with my tambourine, I should have packed it in my car when I headed to a nearby city to help set up for a baby shower at the home of my precious friend, Kaye, who is now hanging out with Jesus. Her daughter had a C-section to bring Baby Maxwell into this world. My girlfriend and I had spoken about having a shower for her daughter and grandson after he was born. With Kaye no longer here, a team assembled to carry out the plan...her mother, her husband, her sister in law, her cousin and me. Yesterday, three of us met to go over final details and we went by the house to begin setting up. Heading into Kaye's bedroom with her mother, she showed me an angel she had placed on the box with Kaye's ashes. To the left of the box was a yellow frame, with the word "FRIENDS" inscribed and a picture of the two of us. The same picture sits in my bedroom. That was the beginning of the grizzle bear grabbing me and tearing my heart apart. Displayed prominently throughout the house were little gifts or notes I had given my friend.
Puzzled I wondered why I had never noticed this over the years. I guess I was always going to see my friend, share her heart and not inspect her home. The depth of the hurt was devastating, but I didn't want to let on in front of her mother who longs desperately to be in the presence of her daughter.
Returning home, I placed my head on my kitchen counter and sobbed. Crying out to the Lord I said, "I don't think I realized how much she loved me, Father. I miss her friendship so much."
"I love you, my child," the Fatherly whisper came.
Then the lesson set in...obviously it gave me great joy to give gifts/notes to my friend. How often do I write notes to the Lord expressing my love? Do I get the same joy when I give my tithe and other gifts to Him for his kingdom?
The sun may have set, but the Lord was still working when I crawled into bed and opened my email. There in the inbox was an email from one of Kaye's daughters. It also went to Kaye's mother.
Check this out! God is always at work and pouring his love out upon us.
During my quiet time I got these verses of scripture. Really good yet again. Praying it meets you all where you are at. Praying for you each daily. Love you all!
Lamentations 3:20-25 (NLT)
I will never forget this awful time, as I grieve over my loss. Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this: The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning. I say to myself "The Lord is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in him." The Lord is good to those who depend on him, to those who search for him.
Love you bunches and miss you all.
The Grizzle Bear of Grief got grounded and sent packing! The Word of God is alive and sharper than any two edged sword! Makes me want to shake my tambourine!
There is a verse which says, "The joy of the Lord is my strength." (Nehemiah 8:10) What a great "U-turn" verse. When the path we are headed down is fueled by the likes of bitterness, heartache, doubt, fear, or jealousy we can slam on the breaks and make a U-turn right into the love of Jesus. The joy we find in His presence will strengthen us, heal our hurts, warm our hearts and remind us how blessed we are to be loved by our Creator....which in turn will...make us feel like dancing!
Tuning in to a teaching on Moses' sister Miriam, I realized I need to up the ante of expectancy when it comes to reasons to rejoice. The commentator made reference to the fact that when the Israelites made a hasty exit from Egypt, Miriam took time to pack her tambourine. I've often thought of what I would grab in the case of a fire and my tambourine (yes, I have one) is not on the list. Miriam grabbed her tambourine because she knew there would come a time when God would give them reason to dance and praise Him for his provision.
My tambourine is pretty tacky nowadays. I think a new one, maybe even with streamers hanging down will be my Mother's Day gift to myself. (I wanted the new Ipad, but a tambourine on the kitchen table may be more appropriate.)
Wherever you are, jump up right now...clap your hands in the air...and praise the Lord, pretending you are shaking your tambourine! :)
You make me feel like dancing Lord, simply because YOU ARE!
I am God, the God of your father. Genesis 46:3
Death swallowed by triumphant Life!
Who got the last word, oh, Death?
Oh, Death, who's afraid of you now?
It was sin that made death so frightening and law-code guilt that gave sin its leverage, its destructive power. But now in a single victorious stroke of Life, all three—sin, guilt, death—are gone, the gift of our Master, Jesus Christ. Thank God!
"A single victorious stroke of Life....the gift of our Master, Jesus Christ" is a quote that brings out a hallelujah as well.
The meat of the matter for me though was the challenge...what am I called to do with the truth which has changed my life? With the gift of hope of seeing Jesus and the peace that a life everlasting brings. The passage says, so this: "Throw yourselves into the work of the Master, confident that nothing you do for him is a waste of time or effort."
May our heads not hit a pillow at night without having turned an ear to Jesus and left a bread crumb on this earth, which might lead another to Christ.
People were bringing little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them, but the disciples rebuked them. Mark 10:13
Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these. Matthew 19:14
Christ made some strong comments about the importance of keeping a clear path for children to get to him. Let's join together in praying for the vitality of Sunday Schools, Vacation Bible School, Church Pre-Schools, Christian Schools and ministries such as Good News Clubs and Child Evangelism Fellowship who are committed to taking the truth of the gospel to little ones.
The other day I met a cute chubby fellow and I whispered in his ear, "Jesus loves you." As I walked away I prayed that as he grew he would remember that phrase and be taught the ways of Christ.
I had my camera with me and took his picture.
"Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me." Revelation 3:20
Our grandchildren love looking out doors. I wonder what they are anticipating? ...the arrival of someone or a peek at one of God's creatures maybe?
Are we anticipating an encounter with Christ today? Are we watching for where we can proclaim his love to another?
"And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may have proclaimed the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains." Colossians 4:3
I was thirsty and you gave me a drink,
I was homeless and you gave me a room,
I was shivering and you gave me clothes,
I was sick and you stopped to visit,
I was in prison and you came to me.
Some days it is nice to know you are loved.
Some days it is nice to know you are being prayed for.
Some days it is nice to know God’s eye is on the sparrow and it is on each of our children as well.
- The LORD is in his holy temple; the LORD is on his heavenly throne. He observes everyone on earth; his eyes examine them. Psalm 11:4
- But the eyes of the LORD are on those who fear him, on those whose hope is in his unfailing love. Psalm 33:18
Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, To God’s holy people in Colossae, the faithful brothers and sisters in Christ: Grace and peace to you from God our Father.We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all God’s people— the faith and love that spring from the hope stored up for you in heaven and about which you have already heard in the true message of the gospel that has come to you. In the same way, the gospel is bearing fruit and growing throughout the whole world—just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and truly understood God’s grace. You learned it from Epaphras, our dear fellow servant, who is a faithful minister of Christ on our behalf, and who also told us of your love in the Spirit.
For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light. For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
Long live the art of note writing!
Teach it to your children, but also share with them the treasured loved letters in God's word.
Jesus said, "Let them be. Even in this." Then, touching the servant's ear, he healed him.
Life presents us all with altercations where we want to fight, but Jesus' "Let them be" attitude and prayers that healing will occur are significant counsel for us all to consider!
Accepting help from one another (especially when building fire pits) is a wise idea too! :)
In John 17:12; Jesus prays concerning His disciples, “While I was with them, I protected them and kept them safe by that name you gave me. None has been lost except the one doomed to destruction so that Scripture would be fulfilled.” At one time, though, Judas believed that Jesus was a prophet, or possibly even believed He was the Messiah. Jesus sent the disciples out to proclaim the gospel and perform miracles (Luke 9:1-6). Judas was included in this group. Judas had faith, but it was not a true saving faith. Judas was never “saved,” but for a time he was a follower of Christ.
Six days before Passover, Jesus entered Bethany where Lazarus, so recently raised from the dead, was living. Lazarus and his sisters invited Jesus to dinner at their home. Martha served. Lazarus was one of those sitting at the table with them. Mary came in with a jar of very expensive aromatic oils, anointed and massaged Jesus' feet, and then wiped them with her hair. The fragrance of the oils filled the house.
Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples, even then getting ready to betray him, said, "Why wasn't this oil sold and the money given to the poor? It would have easily brought three hundred silver pieces." He said this not because he cared two cents about the poor but because he was a thief. He was in charge of their common funds, but also embezzled them.
Jesus said, "Let her alone. She's anticipating and honoring the day of my burial. You always have the poor with you. You don't always have me."